ETHOS

ETHOS

Monday, June 30, 2008

I've been thinking a lot about the story within the story, not necessarily a frame, but something really short, like a fairy tale in a novel. I was reading Knut Hamsun's Victoria, and he does this. Victoria is a love story, and there's one chapter that's just a fairy tale about love and the pursuit of love, and I remember thinking it would be such fun to write a themed fairy tale for a novel. How would you stick it it there? Just slip it in as a chapter on its own, the way Hamsun did it, or what? See, I like the idea of a novel being layered. Layering is huge in teaching right now. Some pedagogists believe that if a lesson is layered, in other words, if it includes activities of interest for all (or most) of the multiple intelligences, or tiered for many different levels of ability, it will be more of a three dimensional lesson. I suppose this is a decent approach to teaching, though admittedly a lot of work, but I wonder if a novel can function in a similar way? I know a novel is not supposed to be a lesson, yet I wonder what makes for a satisfying read? I guess it depends on who you are, and I don't think it's possible to apply the theory of a layered lesson to writing a novel, but I do wonder how many different types of writing can fit into one.

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